BARAGA -- The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary (2016) at their Seventh Annual Celebrate the U.P. event Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, at the Ojibwa Community College in Baraga.
The event kicks off Friday, March 18, with the Quarterly UPEC Board Meeting from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and UPEC's Annual Meeting at 6 p.m. All are welcome at these meetings. At 7 p.m. the film Ojibwe Drum Songs, by Michael Loukinen, will be shown. Featuring several local Native drummers, the film blends story, song and dance and profiles an Elder from the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, his interpretations of stories, and the songs that come to life around the drum.
On Saturday, March 19, an opening ceremony with Native Drummers will be held at 9 a.m., followed by 12 speakers on various UP topics (3 per time slot: 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.).
Children’s activities will be held from 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday.
At 3:30 p.m. UPEC will host featured speaker Trevor Thomas, the only blind professional long-distance hiker, who has hiked nearly 20,000 miles on America’s long trails including both the Appalachian Trail (2,180-mile journey from Georgia to Maine) and Pacific Crest Trail (2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington) with his service dog. Don’t miss this exciting talk along with all the others throughout the day Saturday!
A Meet-n-Greet Reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
All events are FREE and open to the public!
Presenters include the following:
- Chris Swartz, KBIC Tribal Council Chairman, Opening Ceremony, Welcome
- Bill Rose, geologist. Keweenaw Geohistory and Geoheritage
- George Desort’s new film, Counting Wolves, with Rolf Peterson, Michigan Tech wildlife biologist, to put things in perspective
- Joseph Youngman, expert birder. Birds of the Keweenaw -- Migrants and Breeders
- Joe Bouchard, Baraga County Trails in Motion. Happy Birthday Baraga Trails!
- Doug Welker, North Country Trail in Baraga County.
- Chris Burnett, Forester and UP Land Conservancy. Walking the Talk and Talking the Walk
- Maria Janowiak, US Forest Service. Climate Change and Upper Michigan’s Forests: Risks, Opportunities, and Ways to Adapt
- Carolyn Peterson, Isle Royale Wolf/Moose Study and Community Volunteer. Reaching Over the Fence (to people who are different from us)
- Jerry Jondreau, KBIC Tribal Forester. Mending an Ancient Relationship: The Story of the Anishinaabeg From Wiikwedong. A History That Shaped the Present Landscape and a New Way Forward
- Nancy Langston, Michigan Tech social sciences professor, Sustaining Lake Superior (and what we can learn from the past)
- Evan McDonald, Keweenaw Land Trust, and Whitey Soli. Private Land Conservation: Benefits and Effects Now and in the Future
- Gene Mensch, KBIC Fisheries Department. The KBIC Fisheries Program
- Nancy Mannikko, Baraga County Historical Society, History of Industrialized Forestry and the paradigm shift from crosscut saws and hand loading to no man on the ground, no hand on the tree
- Featured Speaker, Trevor Thomas, World’s only Blind Pro Hiker. Check out his website.
Learn more about the speakers and their presentations here.
Directions: Just west of the Casino on M-38 in Baraga turn north on Beartown Rd., go north ¼ mile and turn right. Click here for a map.